Information for Non-Healthcare Individuals

Why test for CMV infection?

Human Cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is a herpes virus that infects between up to 85% of adults. HCMV can be the cause significant congenital defects in new-born babies and is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in patients undergoing transplants, hemodialysis, cancer treatment and treatment with other immunosuppressive drugs.

The majority of HCMV disease is caused by reactivation of a latent infection rather than by newly acquired virus, although infection can also be caused by transplant of organs or blood from a HCMV-infected donor. Over 40% of AIDS patients and 30% of seronegative recipients organs from seropositive donors develop HCMV, and mortality can be as high as 80-90% in these groups.

Thus, keeping HCMV infection in check is a vital role of a fully functioning immune system (eg. so-called T-Cells). A test such as QuantiFERON-CMV has the capacity to measure anti-HCMV T cell immune function and therefore its use should have important applications in monitoring patients for the presence of virus or virus-related disease.

Key features of QuantiFERON-CMV

  • Simple, rapid, convenient and reproducible
  • Use of whole blood provides a true measure of in vivo immune function
  • No manipulation of blood
  • No loss of blood cells
  • More sensitive than similar laboratory procedures
  • Proven technology in diagnosis of tuberculosis
  • Results correlate with other tests
  • Mitogen control detects general immunosuppression